HALESOWEN College bosses say the future is now bright for its popular nursery - which had been facing closure.

The nursery at the college on Whittingham Road is being rebranded as 'Nursery at B63' and is recruiting a new manager and deputy manager.

Parents were upset last May when the college announced the nursery was in danger of closing and that it was looking to transfer ownership to an external provider, claiming it was 'no longer able to maintain the nursery in its current form’.

They were devastated and said it was a vital service for many staff and students, who rely on it for childcare and provided excellent care.

But the college's vice principal Jacquie Carman said the nursery is now safe and the college has no plans to close it or transfer its ownership.

She said: "We are recruiting new staff and are very positive about the future.

"We are rebranding it as Nursery at B63 and are recruiting a manager and a deputy manager - we are using some agency staff while we recruit - there are 11 staff posts, full and part-time.

"It is still being run by the college, but as a wholly-owned subsidiary company Halesowen College Enterprises Ltd and we are very positive about the future."

While the nursery, which is rated 'Good' by Ofsted, was set up primarily to meet the childcare needs of staff and students, it has also proved popular with the general public.

It offers nine places for children aged nought to two and 29 places for children aged two to five.

Ms Carman said the nursery has not closed and has continued trading.

In a letter to parents last summer college principal David Williams, had said: “The college has concluded that it is no longer to maintain the nursery in its current form and is seeking to transfer ownership to an external provider.

“We would expect a new nursery provider to maintain the similar levels of service, including the use of our existing staff and facilities.

“However, if this is not possible, then regrettably we consider it unlikely that the college will continue to operate a nursery service beyond the end of July.

“We hope to be able to confirm to you by the week commencing June 6 whether the nursery will be transferred to another provider or permanently closed."